When a small business is doing an EFTPOS comparison to find out what suits their business…
It can be a real hassle…
Let’s break it down.
If you’re a brand new business:
The various EFTPOS machines can be difficult to distinguish from each other…
They all look and feel quite similar.
You might be tempted to run with the best looking terminal or just turn to your current personal bank to avoid the inconvenience and confusion involved in the decision process.
If you’re an established business:
You just want something that works for once.
Research suggests that the majority of small to medium businesses are significantly less aware of business banking and EFTPOS outside of the big 4 in Australia.
Although most businesses have specific requirements for their EFTPOS terminals based on their POS/PMS integrations & specific industry (e.g. tipping, health fund claiming, Afterpay) – up to 45% of businesses go with their primary business bank due to proximity and the fact it was the first business bank they dealt with.
Source: RFI Research – Australian SME Banking September 2017
There is clearly a void in useful resources that can help you reliably select an EFTPOS machine that suits your business.
That’s why we’ve summed up what EFTPOS features you should consider when selecting or switching your EFTPOS machine.
Let’s get started…
1. Seamless Integration With A Point Of Sale (POS/PMS)
If you do not have a Point of Sale now, no need to worry about this point.
If you do, read on.
For those that are unsure what a Point of Sale (POS/PMS) is, it’s basically the software merchants use to conduct sales.
A Point of Sale (POS/PMS) is the software merchants use to conduct sales.
Here’s another definition…
It could be a cash register…
It could be a computer…
Or even an iPad.
A Point of Sale is used to manage inventory, tally costs and conduct financial transactions.
As the technology for Point of Sale systems becomes more advanced, small businesses are moving away from traditional POS systems toward cloud based Point of Sale solutions…
Here’s what a typical cafe Point Of Sale might look like
Many small businesses are also ensuring their POS is integrated with their EFTPOS provider…
The key takeaway here is to select an EFTPOS provider with superior integration technology that can seamlessly integrate with your Point of Sale.
- Eliminate double entry and rekeying errors.
- Save time and money with advanced reconciliation.
- Safeguard your customers and business against data breach with integration architecture.
- Get immediate transaction reporting.
- Elimination of double-entry errors and advanced reconciliation saves your business time and money.
- Enjoy consistent inventory management.
Want to learn more about integration? Read more here.
2. Investment In Payment Infrastructure & Data Centres
Having an EFTPOS that drops out all the time is like purchasing an umbrella with holes in it.
Noone wants an umbrella with holes in it…
You don’t want that…
No terminal technology has a perfect 100% uptime.
But some providers get very close.
What you are looking for is an EFTPOS solution that:
- Invests in its technology.
- Has dual live data centres (operating in separate locations).
- Has a 3G backup mode just in case the data centre is down.
- Offers an offline transaction acceptance method.
An example of a data centre
Find out more about reliability and connectivity here.
3. Customised Solutions For Your Industry
Selecting an EFTPOS machine that’s bespoke to your business makes life easier.
Easier for your customers.
Which makes it easier for your business.
If you own a bar, you’d want to be able to set bar tabs.
Hopefully as a merchant your receipt is this long!
If you’re a physiotherapist you would benefit from integrated health fund claiming.
And so forth…
It’s hard to keep track of what features are cutting edge in your industry when doing an EFTPOS comparison…
So we’ve put them below.
|Primary Health||Allied Health||Hospitality||Retail|
4. Easy Terminal Set-Up
Time is money – Benjamin Franklin.
Small businesses don’t have time to spend their time with confusing manuals and tricky wires.
What you want is something quick and simple to set-up, so you can focus on what is important.
When searching for an EFTPOS machine you should check what the set-up process is.
Here’s a checklist:
|1.||Is it easy to unpack?||☐|
|2.||Does it include an ethernet cable?||☐|
|3.||Is the terminal easy to position for the customer?||☐|
|4.||Are the cables long enough?||☐|
|5.||Is there a simple set-up guide?||☐|
|6.||Are the instructions clear?||☐|
|7.||Is there a seamless experience with connectivity to your Wi-Fi or 3G?||☐|
|8.||Is the password set-up intuitive?||☐|
|9.||Is it easy to hook up with your POS/PMS?||☐|
|10.||Is it simple enough to customise settings?||☐|
|11.||Do the instructions cover set-up of functionalities such as pay at table and tipping?||☐|
|12.||Is there a policy for terminal damage?||☐|
|13.||Is it obvious how to get additional terminal paper?||☐|
|14.||Is it clear how the reporting system is set-up?||☐|
If you’re a small business, you don’t have time to deal with difficult processes and unclear instructions.
What you want is something quick and simple to setup, so you can focus on what is important.
5. Quick Transaction Speeds With Tap & Go
Speed means queues move faster…
Queues moving faster means your customers are happier….
I’ll sum up the result in the following, highly technical equation:
Happy customers + fast moving queues = more sales.
If you’re looking for a guide on how fast transaction speeds should be, we recommend around a maximum of 2 seconds and a Tap & Go functionality.
Some people want to keep their card details secure and put in a PIN, but most will just tap and go.
When doing an EFTPOS comparison, we highly recommend you consider the speed of the EFTPOS terminal in question.
Speed is important…
6. Not Having To Change Bank
Changing your EFTPOS is one thing.
But having to change all of your bank details over could be a whole other can of worms…
A can of worms you want to avoid.
It’s nice to have the option if you’re actually looking for a new bank but, if not, this might be an inconvenient extra step that could cause you a lot of administrative pain and delayed phone calls.
When switching EFTPOS, make sure you double check whether your bank can integrate with your new EFTPOS or whether you have to change – you might save yourself a lot of time.
The can of worms that can be involved with having to transfer your bank and EFTPOS unwillingly.
7. Transaction Security
When you’re accepting payments, you’re placing a lot of trust in your EFTPOS provider to maintain safe payments, avoid fraud and keep data encrypted.
To protect you and your customer’s money, you should ensure that the EFTPOS system you decide to go with offers the following features:
You need an effective firewall between you and online hackers. A firewall is essentially a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. When you enquire for your next EFTPOS, make sure this is available.
Your POS system, and any mobile devices that connect to the same network as your EFTPOS terminals, should have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed. This will help to prevent the possibility of a virus interfering with day to day payments.
A computer virus is a type of malicious software program (“malware”) that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code.
PCI PTS Compliance
PCI PTS are technical and operational requirements set to protect cardholder data. The standards apply to all organisations that store, process or transmit cardholder data. Make sure you check with the payments provider that their EFTPOS machines are PCI PTS compliant.
Cardholder Data Protection
Check with your EFTPOS solution provider that they do not share cardholder data with the Point of Sale, with the merchant. Bonus points if this information is encrypted.
Data Theft & Fraud Prevention
Protecting cardholder data is vital. If fraudsters get their hands on the PIN and other authentication data, they can impersonate the cardholder, use the card, and steal the cardholder’s identity. Also make sure that your EFTPOS provider has solutions to deal with MOTO fraud, order refund fraud, third party payments fraud and counterfeit card fraud.
A personal identification number is a numeric or alphanumeric password or code used in the process of authenticating or identifying a user to a system and system to a user. PIN protection on an EFTPOS machine is an additional safeguard to fraud.
Interested in security and fraud? Make sure you read more when doing your EFTPOS comparison.
8. 3G & Wi-Fi Connection & Support
Whether you’re running a busy medical centre, a bar on a remote island paradise, or an outback medical practice, you need to be processing EFTPOS payments 24/7.
Any connection issues could lose you hard earned cash…
This is why we recommend that, when searching for your next EFTPOS machine, you ensure every possible connection:
Ethernet establishes link level connections, which can be defined using both the destination and source addresses, usually via an ethernet cable. It’s the one that you plug in straight from your modem.
Wi-Fi is a technology for wireless local area networking with devices based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. It’s the one that you stream from your modem without cables.
3G, standing for third generation, is the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology. This is what you use for your mobile phone. Bonus points if you find an EFTPOS provider that includes the 3G cost in the fee.
Check if the EFTPOS service you’re interested in has 3G backup.
Find out more about reliability and connectivity here.
9. The Ability To Accept Different Payments
From cards to contactless, the way people are paying is changing and expanding.
Cash is still used and important to accept.
However, as cash payments decrease over time, alternative payments are on the rise. If you’re not accepting these alternative payments, you’re missing out on business.
If you look at trends over the last 5 years, you can see use of cash is rapidly decreasing.
Source – Graph 1 – https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2017/mar/pdf/bu-0317-7-how-australians-pay-new-survey-evidence.pdf
…And contactless card payments are on the rise.
Source – Graph 7 – https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2017/mar/pdf/bu-0317-7-how-australians-pay-new-survey-evidence.pdf
Overall, the more forms of payments you accept, the more business you can generate.
It’s that simple.
Here are some of the payment methods you should consider when selecting your next EFTPOS solution:
Amex, MasterCard, Union Pay, Visa, EFTPOS debit card, HCB, Diners
This includes all the major credit and debit cards used in Australia – the most common form of EFTPOS payment.
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
Yes, more and more people are paying with their phones. If you’re not accepting this you could be losing tech savvy early adopter markets.
Accept Cryptocurrency (e.g: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin)
Very few EFTPOS services support this currently, mostly due to development costs and security issues. However, this is something to keep on the list for the near future as the market for people paying with cryptocurrency is ever expanding.
The way people pay is changing rapidly, you need to be able to accept different forms of payments, otherwise you could lose valuable customers.
Find out more about payment and card acceptance here
10. Dynamic Currency Conversion
Australia has hit record numbers in the tourism industry…
We welcomed 8.7 million international visitors in the past year, up 7.1% from last year.
There are many things that make Australia quite different… But you can make payments a familiar experience with Dynamic Currency Conversion
That means more travellers wanting to pay for things.
These travellers have a friction point, they want to pay with their overseas bank account.
The solution is Dynamic Currency Conversion…
Dynamic Currency Conversion automatically converts the currency from the travellers’ country of residence to Australian dollars ($AUD).
Here are the main benefits of having an EFTPOS that can convert currency…
For your business…
- You will be able to earn extra revenue from the currency conversion process (unless a refund is made).
- You are offering an extra service and enhanced experience for your customers at no added cost.
- You may avoid credit card company fees that will be charged to the DCC operator.
For your customers…
- Immediate conversion to their currency of origin.
- Greater transparency and no surprises with AUD and transaction currency disclosed side by side.
- Business travellers can streamline their account claims easier.
Find out more how currency conversion could be useful for your business here
11. 24/7 Local Customer Support
A lot of businesses have crazy hours…
Bars do night shifts.
Grocers do early mornings.
Without EFTPOS support at these times, you might be putting yourself in a sticky situation.
You can check a company’s Facebook page to see how quickly they respond to your messages.
You should be able to tell how responsive a company is by testing their social media response time and call response time.
In a survey by The Social Habit, 32% of social media users who contact a brand expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes
But time is not the only crucial aspect of an EFTPOS providers’ customer support…
A study by Gallup measured how engaged customers felt after getting service at a bank.
While customers who felt that the bank offered speedy service were six times more likely to be highly engaged, customers who gave the bank high ratings on “people” factors (like the tellers’ courtesy and willingness to help) were nine times more likely to be fully engaged.
Another thing you might want to check is how people review the EFTPOS services’ customer service. You can find this on Google reviews, Trustpilot and other rating sites.
You will get some reviews like this.
…And then some like this.
You should be able to decide by these reviews whether the EFTPOS service you’re looking to pursue is reliable.
These EFTPOS reviews should give you some good ideas about what to expect with each EFTPOS service.
When doing an merchant facility comparison, we’d highly recommend you check out how the EFTPOS provider deals with customers.
12. No lock-in contracts
A lock in contract is essentially a contract where you cannot opt out of ongoing payments, preventing you from switching to competitor EFTPOS services.
You don’t want that…
It’s also a red flag and could imply the EFTPOS product is not hitting the mark, creating a need for the EFTPOS company to hold it’s customers in contracts.
Make sure you check what you’re signing up to, are you able to get out of the contract if you decide the service isn’t up to scratch?
When doing an EFTPOS comparison, check with your EFTPOS provider what fees they have, how transparent they are and whether they are lock-in contracts or not
13. Instant & Segmented Reporting
What should EFTPOS reporting look like?
On a surface level, you want it to be accurate, quick and comprehensive…
We collated a list of EFTPOS features that you should research when looking for an EFTPOS machine.
View Transaction Summaries
By monitoring how much you are accepting per day, you can make forecasts and budget your business expenses.
Segmentation Of Data
Segmenting transaction data can be useful to identify trends and make adjustments to your business in response. At the least it is important break down payments by what location, what individual terminals and at what time of the day your business is receiving the largest fluctuation in cash flow.
Powerful search functionality for individual transactions will help you access card payment transaction breakdown.
Search is an increasingly useful feature to understand the nature of payments in your business
Invoice, Reconciliation Report & Service Fee Transparency
The ability to create and view past invoices, produce reconciliation reports, and see your service fees breakdown gives your business more transparency as to where your money is going.
Having digital reports means you can access information from your phone or device without relying on a printer, and manipulate the report as you like. Bonus points if there is a phone app you can log in to.
14. A Mobile App
Mobile usage has never been higher. Rates of smartphone use increased from 11.1 million in Australia in 2013 to around 15.3 million in 2015.
Increasingly, people are also using mobile apps to check balances of their personal banking and business accounts.
Having access to a mobile app means you can access important information about your business on the go
Here is an example of what a mobile app may look like for your daily EFTPOS takings:
Want to see how a mobile app could be useful for your business? Find out more here.
When researching what EFTPOS suits your business, it’s important to be conscious of the following features, these can determine how effectively your business accepts business:
- Seamless Integration With A Point Of Sale (POS/PMS)
- Investment In Payment Infrastructure & Data Centres
- Customised Solutions For Your Industry
- Easy Terminal Set-up
- Quick Transaction Speeds With Tap & Go
- Not Having To Change Bank
- Transaction Security
- 3G & Wi-Fi Connection & Support
- The Ability To Accept Different Payments
- Dynamic Currency Conversion
- 24/7 Local Customer Support
- No lock-in contracts
- Instant & Segmented Reporting
- A Mobile App
If you’d like to find more about what EFTPOS features to consider when investing in your next EFTPOS machine, or doing an EFTPOS comparison you can contact us here.